Obituaries detail

Roland Edward Hughes
Jan 26, 1927 - Mar 31, 2021

Roland Edward Hughes was born to Walter Hughes and Bessie Yates Hughes in Caraway, Ar., January 26, 1927, during a rare snowstorm. He was the 3rd of eight children.


He graduated from Hardy High School in 1945. In 1947 he went to work for Southwestern Bell telephone company. He retired in 1983 after 36 years of service. 


In 1950 in a small country church in Hardy, Ar., he married the girl next door, Donna Lee Zuber. To this union 6 children were born. Roland Lee, Risa, Brenda, Yvonne, Lisa and Paula.


In 1961 he was baptized into the RLDS church which later became the Community of Christ. He began a lifelong journey of love and devotion to his church, its members and activities. Summers were full of softball at Blue Valley Activity Center, camps, reunions, picnics. Fall and winter brought basketball at the Palmer Center. Priesthood meetings, Sunday night church and Wednesday night prayer service were a staple for the family. Roland held the office of Elder in the church. He was Bishop’s agent, held cottage meetings and participated in Tuesday night priesthood meetings.  


Roland enjoyed anything outdoors. He was a serious competitor and LOVED a good prank.  


Along life's way Roland took many under his wing. Mentoring them, while offering love and encouragement to reach further, try harder, honor your word, and establish a good work ethic.  


During their years together Roland and Donna loved to travel. It was a family joke that he never met a stranger. He would talk with someone until he could find something they had in common. Then you might as well take a seat because it was going to be a minute. 


Roland and Donna raised 5 strong, compassionate and giving daughters. They were blessed to grow in a home where hard work was expected, but love was always present. To his last day Roland could still be heard proclaiming he had 5 of the prettiest girls in Jackson County.  


Roland was the only grandfather to his 7 grandchildren; a job at which he excelled and relished. Fishing, mushroom hunting, camping, bird hunting, gardening, the list could go on and on. His grandchildren remember it all with the fondest of memories.  


Roland was preceded in death by his young son Roland Lee in 1954, his wife of 68 years, life partner, confidant and forever love Donna Lee Hughes 2018. 


He is survived by five daughters. Risa Hayes (Platte City, MO), Brenda Smithart (Independence, MO), Yvonne Brockman (Yorktown, Va.), Lisa Casto (Tinley Park, IL) Paula Hawkins (Independence, MO) and 1 son-in-law Floyd Hawkins.


Seven surviving grandchildren include Audra Grisham, Todd Smithart, Jeff Hayes, Bekki Sandberg, Philip Casto, Tyler Chuning, Austin Chuning and their respective spouses.


Last but not least, “the littles”. The youngest joys of his life. Eighteen great grandchildren. Lacy, Eila, Megan, Christian, Raul, Cali, Catrina,  Keenan, Tyler, Maxx, Nicholas, Jonathan, Joshua, Claire, Emma, Gretta, Gavin and Roy.


His surviving siblings include, Anna Baker, Bob Hughes and Oleta Burton all of Arkansas.


To the World he was just a man, but to his daughters…. he was THEIR world.


A celebration of life service will be held Thursday April 8, 2021.

5 o’clock pm at the

Village Heights Community of Christ Church

1009 N. Farview Dr.

Independence MO 64056.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Roland’s name to:

Crossroads Hospice

14310 E 42nd St Ste 600

Independence MO 64055


We will forever be grateful for their love and compassion as truly, they walked this journey with us, hand in hand.


PLEASE NOTE: If flowers are sent, no deliveries will be accepted at the church before 3:00 pm.  

Additional Service:
Celebration of Life
Village Heights Community of Christ Church
1009 B, Fairview Dr.
Zip Code:
Date of Service:
Apr 08 ,2021
Time of Service:
5:00 pm
Additional Information:

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Roland’s name to:

Crossroads Hospice

14310 E 42nd St Ste 600

Independence MO 64055


If flowers are sent, no deliveries will be accepted at the church before 3:00 pm.  

Google Map:


Riqui Webb Apr 05 ,2021

Friend ,Platte City ,Missouri

Risa and family, so very sorry for your loss

Nancy Layne Apr 06 ,2021

Chaplain ,Independence ,Missouri

A lovely story of a lovely and loving man. We will all miss him.

Anna Baker & Linda Slayton Apr 06 ,2021

Sister & niece ,Williford ,Arkansas

All of you are in our thoughts and prayers. Sorry we can't be with you but, none of us are able to make the trip. We'll be with you in hearts and spirits. We love you all.

LeAndrea Thomas Apr 06 ,2021

Crossroads Social Worker ,Independence ,Missouri

It was an honor and pleasure getting to know Mr. Roland while he was on our services. I loved hearing all of his stories and will miss that nice hearty laugh of his! He was such a wonderful man and has left an imprint on so many lives including myself! Thank you for allowing Crossroads to care for him! You all will be in my prayers. God bless!

Louellen Kimberland Apr 06 ,2021

Niece ,Walnut Ridge ,Arkansas

I so wish I could be at his service, if not for COVID I would be. He was such a caring uncle and I will miss his big hugs. My heart is with my dear cousins and I will keep you all in my prayers.

Terry (Barclay) and Jerry Norris Apr 12 ,2021

Friend ,Independence ,Missouri

So sorry to learn of the passing of your father. Our sincere sympathy to your family.